It’s easy to know that having both short and long-term goals while suffering from a chronic illness is important. Regular goals will motivate you to get out of bed each day and keep moving forward toward your dreams. What’s not so simple is figuring out what exactly your goals should be. We’re here to help you out in that department.
The first step is to get a trusty pen and paper. Then you start listing out everything you want in your life—be it travelling to new places, writing an article for a favorite website, or simply being able to take a walk in the park with reduced pain. Really try to list everything you could possibly want, though you should keep the list within reason considering your illness.
Next, make a list of everything you don’t want. It’s important that you’re reasonable with this list as well. We’ve spoken before on this site about how you need to accept your pain, so writing magical solutions like “To not be in pain” on this list isn’t allowed. You can, however, write something goal-oriented like “To learn how to better manage my pain”. You should get as specific and detailed with this list as you did with the first one.
Once you’ve completed both lists, you will learn a lot about your “why”. That is, you’ll have a better idea of your purpose—the reason you were put on this earth. Through narrowing down what you want and don’t want out of life, the picture will become clearer of the service that you and you alone can provide to the world.
Put both lists somewhere where you will see them each morning. You can also save them on your computer if writing by hand isn’t your thing. Then, every morning—perhaps while you’re having your morning coffee or tea—you should read both lists aloud to yourself.
Next you should make a list of one to three long-term goals that align with your why. Do the same thing with one to three short-term goals. From there you can work backward until you’ve narrowed your goals into bite-sized tasks you can complete each day, each bringing you closer to exemplifying the why that you’ve built for yourself.
Life with a chronic illness can make it difficult to keep focused on your goals, but listing out the two halves of your why and reading them aloud to yourself each day should help your to figure out what you truly want out of life and how to go about reaching it.